Subject:    For Absent Friends: CHAPTER 10;
          The Krab Kwadrille
From:       "Plain, Simple, Blackhawk." <>
Message-ID: <>

Previous chapter: The Mock Cronan's Story


The Krab Kwadrille

The Mock Cronan sighed deeply, and drew the back of one gloved hand 
across his eyes. He looked at Blackhawk, and tried to speak, but for a 
minute or two sobs choked his voice. `Same as if he had a Peep in his 
throat,' said the Hole: and it set to work shaking him and punching him 
in the back. At last the Mock Cronan recovered his voice, and, with 
tears running down his cheeks, he went on again:

`You may not have lived much under the Usenet--' (`I haven't,' said 
Blackhawk)-- `and perhaps you were never even introduced to Kermit 
Krab--' (Blackhawk began to say `I once tasted--' but checked himself 
hastily, and said `No, never') `--so you can have no idea what a 
delightful thing a Krab Kwadrille is!'

`No, indeed,' said Blackhawk. `What sort of a dance is it?'

`Why,' said the Hole, `you first crosspost a troll from 
along the rec.arts.sf.* hierarchy--'

`Two Trolls!' cried the Mock Cronan. `Dinosaurs, fanboys, Mr. Ban and so 
on; then, when you've cleared all the newbies out of the way--'

`That generally takes some time,' interrupted the Hole.

`--you advance twice--'

`Each with a Krab as a partner!' cried the Hole.

`Of course,' the Mock Cronan said: `advance twice, set to limericks--'

`--change personalities, and flame in same order,' continued the Hole.

`Then, you know,' the Mock Cronan went on, `you throw in the--'

`Wackylaces!' shouted the Hole, with a bound into the air.

`--as far out to Usenet as you can--'

`Swim after them!' screamed the Hole.

`Turn a somersault in your logic!' cried the Mock Cronan, capering 
wildly about.

`Change Krab's again!' yelled the Hole at the top of its voice.

`Back to Servo again, and that's all the first figure,' said the Mock 
Cronan, suddenly dropping his voice; and the two creatures, who had been 
jumping about like mad things all this time, sat down again very sadly 
and quietly, and looked at Blackhawk.

`It must be a very pretty dance,' said Blackhawk timidly.

`Would you like to see a little of it?' said the Mock Cronan.

`Very much indeed,' said Blackhawk.

`Come, let's try the first figure!' said the Mock Cronan to the Hole. 
`We can do without Krabs, you know. Which of us shall sing?'

`Oh, you sing,' said the Hole. `I've forgotten the words.'

So they began solemnly dancing round and round Blackhawk, every now and 
then treading on his toes when they passed too close, and waving their 
forepaws to mark the time, while the Mock Cronan sang this, very slowly 
and sadly:--

"Will you kiss my ebony ass?" said a Scuzz to a snail.
"There's a Fuller close behind us, and he keeps sending me mail.
See how eagerly the WuhWuhS and the Porko will advance!
They are waiting on the Usenet--will you come and flame their ass?

Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you flame their ass?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you kiss my ass?"

"You can really have no notion how delightful it will be,
When they take us up and throw us, with the trolls to a.f.b.!"
But J. replied "Too much, too far!" and gave a look askance--
Said he thanked the Scuzz kindly, but he would not kiss his ass.
    Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not kiss his ass.
    Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not kiss his ass.

"What matters it how far we go?" his Scally friend replied.
"There is another bore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from Wayland, the nearer to Anti-France--
Go catch a buzz, beloved Scuzz, yet come and flame my ass.

    Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you flame my ass?
    Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you kiss my ass?"'

`Thank you, it's a very interesting dance to watch,' said Blackhawk, 
feeling very glad that it was over at last: `and I do so like that 
curious song about the Scuzz!'

[Image]  Mock Cronan and Hole demonstrating 
         the Krab Kwadrille to Blackhawk

       / MST3K   )     won't you, will you flame my ass? 
      /      --"`        /
     /       _`:---.    /             ,,,   Won't you kiss my ebony ass? 
    |B5   .-'@@@@@@@@\           __,'',. '___   /            ______
     \   /@@@@.----'@/          @_  "  .". ,_@ /            _\____/
   ...\  :@,-' (o  o)\         ,'",'.". ',' ,',   ,''.       .)  33 
  //// \ |@@   ,'._),|       ,'"'  "  (0) '" ..'.',;."      <    )3
  (\\\' \_\@@ ' , O  /,  .'''"'  "'' ",', " ,' '",'.''       > ___/
   (__)____)`'---,-' ,' //__"' ' ""'  ___' '" "','"'.'        /| ||
    \______   .  .\\____|'__)"'"'' ""(___) ",'"',.,.''   /   /\| ||
           \ nanorc\____  __)"' ''" "' " ' ' ,"......'  /    |q| ||
            \_P&SC_|    ',__)'"' ' ""'" ''  " ''  This rock  |o| ||
Hjckrrh!    (______)      '....."' " '' ""' ,",'  hurts      |o| ||
  \ __      |  GPG |            '."' " ' ' ",..'  my ass,,,----' ||
   /_ \     .__/\__,             ,"'"'':""' " ".       ((()______/|
   (")\\    | | / /              ','";''; ,.'",'       /``----\\  |
   _^_/o    | |/ /              .' "'',''."',".'.      |  .____\ \\
  / #       [_] /               '.-..-..-..-.-..'      |  ||.'''\__\
    #       / |--.               /    / \    \         |  ||'    ',
   / \     / /---'            __/    /   \    \__     _|__||'     '.
           `=             BH (______)    (_______)   (____]].______'.

`Oh, as to the Scuzz,' said the Mock Cronan, `they--you've seen them, of 

`Yes,' said Blackhawk, `I've often seen them at dinn--' he checked 
himself hastily.

`I don't know where Dinn may be,' said the Mock Cronan, `but if you've 
seen them so often, of course you know what they're like.'

`I believe so,' Blackhawk replied thoughtfully. `They have their tails 
in their mouths--and they're all over crumbs.'

`You're wrong about the crumbs,' said the Mock Cronan: `crumbs would be 
all "crummy", do try to keep up Blackhawk. But they have their tails in 
their mouths; and the reason is--' here the Mock Cronan yawned and shut 
his eyes.--`Tell him about the reason and all that,' he said to the Hole.

`The reason is,' said the Hole, `that they would go with the Krabs and 
Porpoises, all Krabby, to the dance. So they got thrown out to sea. So 
they had to fall a long way. So they got their tails fast in their 
mouths. So they couldn't get them out again. But I understand medication 
and therapy can work wonders in this area.'

`Thank you,' said Blackhawk, `it's very interesting. I never knew so 
much about a Scuzz before.'

`I can tell you more than that, if you like,' said the Hole. `Do you 
know why it's called a Scuzz?'

`I never thought about it,' said Blackhawk. `Why?'

`It shines, especially with "boots" and "shoo's".' the Hole replied very 

Blackhawk was thoroughly puzzled. `Shines the boots and shoo's?!' he 
repeated in a wondering tone.

`Why, what are your shoes done with?' said the Hole. `I mean, what makes 
them such shiny wons?'

Blackhawk looked down at them, and considered a little before he gave 
his answer. `They're done with ASCII, I believe.'

`Boots and shoo's under the Usenet,' the Hole went on in a deep voice, 
`are done with a Scuzzing. Now you know.'

`And what are they made of?' Blackhawk asked in a tone of great 

`Soles and Heels, of course,' the Hole replied rather impatiently: `any 
Teat could have told you that.'

`If I'd been the Scuzz,' said Blackhawk, whose thoughts were still 
running on the song, `I'd have said to the porpoise, "Keep back, please: 
we don't want you with us!"'

`They were obliged to have him with them,' the Mock Cronan said: `no 
wise Scuzz would go anywhere without a porpoise.'

`Wouldn't it really?' said Blackhawk in a tone of great surprise.

`Of course not,' said the Mock Cronan: `why, if a Scuzz came to me, and 
told me he was going on a tirade, I should say "With what porpoise?"'

`Don't you mean "purpose"?' said Blackhawk.

`I mean what I say,' the Mock Cronan replied in an offended tone. And 
the Hole added `Come, let's hear some of your adventures.'

`I could tell you my adventures--beginning from this morning,' said 
Blackhawk a little timidly: `but it's no use going back to yesterday, 
because I was a different person then.'

`Explain all that,' said the Mock Cronan.

`No, no! The adventures first,' said the Hole in an impatient tone: 
`explanations take such a dreadful line length.'

So Blackhawk began telling them his adventures from the time when he 
first saw the large telepathic yellow Peep with carnauba wax for eyes, 
wearing a waistcoat, running close by him...

He was a little nervous about it just at first, the two creatures got so 
close to him, one on each side, and opened their eyes and mouths so very 
wide, and Norman the elf began drooling on him, but he gained courage as 
he went on. His listeners were perfectly quiet till he got to the part 
about him repeating, `you are our friend Scott, and nothing you have 
done or will do will ever change that. Call me when you feel up to it 
again,' to the Redneck on the Caterpillar, and the words all coming 
different, and then the Mock Cronan drew a long breath, and said 
`That's... very curious.'

`It's all about as curious as it can be,' said the Hole.

`It all came different!' the Mock Cronan repeated thoughtfully. `I 
should like to hear him try and repeat something now. Tell him to 
begin.' He looked at the Hole as if he thought it had some kind of 
authority over Blackhawk.

`Stand up and repeat "'Tis the Voice of the Krab,"' said the Hole.

`How the creatures order one about, and make one repeat lessons!' 
thought Blackhawk; `I might as well be at rastb5m again.' However, he 
got up, and began to repeat it, but his head was so full of the Krab 
Kwadrille, that he hardly knew what he was saying, and the words came 
very queer indeed:

  `'Tis the voice of the Krab; I heard him declare,
   "I've baked him too brown, So I'll butter his hair."
    As a baby with its Jeebus, so he with his nose
    Trashed his bow-tie, his collar, and turns out his toes.'

[Image]  Kermit Krab in a roasting pan
    ||~~~~~~~(X)(X)~~~~~~~~|| Anyone got a lemon?
    ||~~~~~~~~|  |~~~~~~~~~||_/
    ||~~~~~~/      \~~~~~~~||
    ||(  )~~\ -XX- /~~(  )~||
    ||~~\~~~~\    /~~~~/~~~||
    ||~~~~'-/,/xx\ \-'~~~~~||   
    ||~~,--/  \xx/' \--.~~~||   
    ||~/ --| `/xx\, |-- \~~||    
    ||/ / --\ \xx/ /-- \ \~||
    |))/ / --`-xx-'-- \ \((||
    ||_~))~_~~~~_~~~_~((~_~|| C.I. w/BH

    When the sands are all dry, he is loaded past buzz,
    And will talk in the contemptuous tones of the Scuzz,
    But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
`That's different from what I used to say when I was a child,' said the 

`Well, I never heard it before,' said the Mock Cronan; `but it sounds 
uncommon nonsense.'

Blackhawk said nothing; he had sat down with his face in his hands, 
wondering if anything would ever happen in a natural way again.

`I should like to have it explained,' said the Mock Cronan.

`He can't explain it,' said the Hole hastily. `Go on with the next 

`But about his toes?' the Mock Cronan persisted. `How could he turn them 
out with his nose, you know?'

`It's the first position in posting.' Blackhawk said; but was dreadfully 
puzzled by the whole thing, and longed to change the subject.

`Go on with the next verse,' the Hole repeated impatiently: `it begins 
"I passed by our newsgroup."'

Blackhawk did not dare to disobey, though he felt sure it would all come 
wrong, and he went on in a trembling voice:--

    `I passed by our newsgroup, and marked, with one eye,
    How the Scuzz and Infinity were sharing a pie--'

    The Scuzz took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,
    While Infinity had the dish as his share of the treat.
    When the pie was all finished, Infinity, as a boon,
    Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon:
    While The Scuzz received knife and fork with a howl,
    And concluded the banquet--

`What is the use of repeating all that stuff,' the Mock Cronan 
interrupted, `if you don't explain it as you go on? It's by far the most 
confusing thing I ever heard!'

`Yes, I think you'd better leave off,' said the Hole: and Blackhawk was 
only too glad to do so given their inability to grasp the multiple 
levels in the story.

`Shall we try another figure of the Krab Kwadrille?' the Hole went on. 
`Or would you like the Mock Cronan to sing you a song?'

`Oh, a song, please, if the Mock Cronan would be so kind,' Blackhawk 
replied, so eagerly that the Hole said, in a rather offended tone, `Hmm! 
No accounting for tastes! Sing him "Peep Soup," will you, old fellow?'

The Mock Cronan sighed deeply, and began, in a voice sometimes choked 
with sobs, to sing this:--

   `Beautiful Peep, so grellow and breen,
    Waiting in a hot tureen!
    Who for such dainties would not dive deep?
    Peep of the evening, beautiful Peep!
    Peep of the evening, beautiful Peep!
        Beau--ootiful Pee--eep!
        Beau--ootiful Pee--eep!
    Pee--eep of the e--e--evening,
        Beautiful, beautiful Peep!

   `Beautiful Peep!  Who wants to troll?
    Revenge, or something more droll?
    Who would not give all else for 
    two pennyworth only of beautiful Peep?
    Pennyworth only of beautiful Peep?
        Beau--ootiful Pee--eep!
        Beau--ootiful Pee--eep!
    Pee--eep of the e--e--evening,
        Beautiful, beauti--FUL PEEP!'

`Chorus again!' cried the Hole, and the Mock Cronan had just begun to 
repeat it, when a cry of `The trial's beginning!' was heard in the 

`Come on!' cried the Hole, and, taking Blackhawk by the hand; it hurried 
off, without waiting for the end of the song.

`What trial is it?' Blackhawk panted as he ran; but the Hole only 
answered `Come on!' and ran the faster, while more and more faintly 
came, carried on the breeze that followed them, the melancholy words:--

    `Pee--eep of the e--e--evening,
        Beautiful, beautiful Peep!'

Next chapter: Who Stole the Peeps?


Author's Notes for this chapter

Original version of this chapter

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